6 Most Common Mistakes in Digital Marketing Campaigns ( + How to Fix Them)

There aren’t many better feelings than launching a new digital marketing campaign. You’ve worked hard for weeks or months to put together a strategy and execute.

But how often do you launch your campaign only to see zero results?

Or worse, you aren’t really sure if you’re getting results or not.

Learn the six most common errors we see in digital marketing campaigns and how we’d recommend you’d fix each of them.

1. Setting Vague Digital Marketing Goals & KPIs

This is the number one biggest mistake we see made when companies launch new campaigns. It’s absolutely vital to set clear goals, KPIs, and benchmarks.

But the worst part about this error is that most people who make it know better (I speak from personal experience). We know clear goals and relevant KPIs are vital to a successful campaign, but we get so excited about the campaign we jump the gun before we’ve set clear markers for success.

This mistake goes far beyond digital marketing. Before setting out to do anything, we should ask ourselves, “How will we determine success?”

Without asking this question, there’s really no way to know whether your digital marketing campaign worked. 

That said, some marketers will think they’re setting clear goals, but really they’re just going after vanity metrics that don’t have a clear impact on their bottom line.

vanity marketing metrics vs actionable metrics

Ruler Analytics

So how do you set goals and KPIs when launching digital marketing campaigns?

  1. Determine the big picture goal. This isn’t your KPI or target – this is big picture. For example, if your monthly leads have dropped, you might have a goal to get more leads.
  2. Set a specific target or KPI. Once you’ve decided on a goal, it’s VITAL you set a KPI for it. So if you’re looking to increase leads, set a related KPI like “improve our leads per month by 25%.” Keep the KPI relevant and realistic.
  3. Track. More on this later, but once that KPI has been set, you have to determine how it will be tracked. Don’t just guess at your progress.

2. Not Tracking Digital Marketing Campaigns Accurately

Tracking marketing campaigns is digital marketing 101.

The second most common mistake made when launching campaigns is a failure to track progress accurately. Without being able to point to solid metrics, it’s impossible to know if you’re hitting or missing your KPI.

google data studio report

Tracking results in Google Data Studio

Lots of people will just sort of halfway keep up with the results and “guess” as to their campaign’s success. But we never have the full picture and we’re all privy to our own biases.

For example, if your goal was to improve leads by 25% from your campaign, you need to be able to track leads that came directly from the campaign. As an owner or Sales Director, you may notice more leads coming in and assume the campaign is working.

In reality, those leads may be coming from other sources. Maybe you got a few referrals the same week you launched an ad campaign. You’ll think your ad campaign is doing well when you’re actually just throwing money down the drain.

How can you track digital marketing campaigns accurately?

  1. Determine your goals and KPIs. See above.
  2. Get specific about your KPI. If you launched an ad campaign where the goal was to improve leads by 25%, you need to be able to track leads directly from the ad campaign. And when it comes to digital marketing, you should aim to track it automatically within the ad platform or Analytics – don’t rely on the lead to tell you how they found you.
  3. Track leading metrics, too. Once you know how many leads you got in a month, it’s too late to do anything about it. This is what we call a lagging metric. You need to track leading metrics, too – data that you can actually influence week-to-week. If you’re trying to grow leads from a Facebook Ad campaign, good leading metrics might include reach, time viewed on a video, link CTR, etc…
  4. Gather your data into a dashboard. You should make it as easy as possible to check on your campaign and get the full picture of its performance. We recommend compiling your data into a dashboard using something like Google Data Studio or Databox.
  5. Review regularly. Tracking is worthless if you’re not going to review your progress and make adjustments on a regular basis. Consider holding a weekly or bi-weekly meeting with everyone involved to assess progress.

3. Relying on Old Data and Metrics

I regularly hear and see stats on blog posts and hear statements like, “Snapchat is dying – everyone is just using Instagram Stories and TikTok now.” 

In 2018, Snapchat’s daily active users started dipping for the first time, and most people assumed Snapchat would slowly become irrelevant. 

number of snapchat users

And I still see this stat across outdated statistics-type blog posts. “Snapchat is dying. Don’t advertise or invest there.” But is it accurate? Nope.

snapchat users graph

Daily active Snapchat users continue to rise by millions each month. Advertising on Snapchat is probably a great idea for B2C (and maybe even B2B) brands looking to expand their advertising beyond Facebook and Instagram.

The digital marketing landscape changes month to month.

It’s imperative now more than ever to have recent and relevant data.

How can you make sure you have solid data to fuel your marketing campaigns?

  1. Get your hands on recent data. When it comes to digital marketing, if what you’re looking is from more than 12-18 months ago, it’s probably outdated. We’d highly recommend Statista when it comes to data.
  2. Look for relevant data. Recent data is good, but it needs to be relevant. Get granular! Let’s say you’re considering Snapchat ads. Knowing their total number of users is nice, but what if they never log on? You’d be better served by knowing how many daily or monthly active users it has. Or let’s say you’re thinking about investing heavily in SEO. Who cares how many total searches are made each month? You need to know how many searches are made for your products and services.

4. Using Poor Creatives and Offers in Digital Ad Campaigns

When it comes to digital advertising campaigns (think: Facebook Ads, TikTok Ads, Google Display, etc…), your creatives and offer are everything – especially in the B2B space.

For many who are just getting their feet wet in digital advertising, they think if they build it, people will come. 

if you build it they will come gif

Unfortunately, when it comes to Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok ads – if you build it without putting much focus on the creative – you will waste money.

Think about it: you’re paying money every time someone looks at your ad. Do you want it to just have your company name with a stock photo? Or do you want it to pitch the viewer your value and persuade them to take the next step?

facebook ad comparison


If your answer isn’t the latter, you’re probably making a big mistake on your advertising.

How to nail your advertising creatives:

  1. Come up with a killer offer. “Hey we do accounting,” will not cut it in 2022. Not only will it not convert, it won’t even garner attention. Offer your audience something of value: a free consultation, free templates, 25% coupon, a highly informative blog post, etc… 
  2. High quality imagery. Try to avoid using stock imagery, but if you have to, make sure it’s unique and relevant. And definitely don’t use a stock image everyone knows is stock.
  3. Know its role in the funnel. Don’t just launch an ad without knowing exactly what its role is. Is it only for brand awareness? Is it the first step in a funnel? Is it intended to convert? Be crystal clear and revisit #1 and #2 in this list to set solid goals and KPIs.

5. Not Knowing Your Audience

Knowing your audience is marketing 101 – but you’d be surprised how many people launch campaigns without putting any thought into their audience.

In fact, the biggest mistake we see marketers make is thinking they know their audience, but really missing the mark. There are two common ways marketers make this mistake:

  1. We project their own desires and preferences onto their audience.
  2. We base all of their assumptions based on one or two anecdotes, and never perform any actual market research.

Failing to know your audience means you risk your campaigns falling flat on their face and generating zero return. You’re likely to go after the wrong keywords, miss the mark on ads, write irrelevant copy, and offer the wrong lead magnets.

Even if you aren’t a digital marketing expert, you need to be familiar with your target personas.

hubspot buyer persona


How to get to know your audience:

  1. Do quantitative research. Collect big data by sending surveys or questionnaires to your customers and offering incentives for filling them out. Then, sort your data and get a feel for what your customers actually want.
  2. Do qualitative research. Big data is nice, but sitting down face-to-face with a customer and hearing their aspirations, challenges, and thoughts on your product is invaluable.
  3. Create personas. Once you have a good understanding of your audience, work with your team to create buyer personas that accurately represent each type of persona in your audience.

6. Hiring Digital Marketing Agencies without Relevant Experience

You can lose a lot of money and miss out on a ton of growth by making this mistake.

There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your campaigns and getting help with strategy – in fact we’d recommend it. 

But the biggest mistake we see companies make when hiring outside help is failing to properly vet their help. Whether you’re hiring a freelancer, contractor, an in-house role, or a digital marketing agency, you must vet them thoroughly.

And one of the most important things to ask about is relevant experience and results.

Just because an agency has a nice SEO case study from an eCommerce site doesn’t necessarily mean they can run a successful ad campaign for your B2B company. Just because a freelancer has done a lot of work for small businesses doesn’t mean they have what it takes to grow your enterprise.

How to hire digital marketers and agencies who get results:

  1. Ask them about experience in your industry. Sure, a lot of industries are very similar, but some are vastly different. Make sure they have real experience in your industry or one that is very similar.
  2. Ask to see case studies. Don’t just look at the results, look at the scenario and tactics as well. Make sure they haven’t just had a brilliant copywriter make their mediocre campaign sound good. Dig deep into the details if you can.
  3. Ask for referrals. Unfortunately, marketers are skilled at making things look and sound good. So ask for referrals from clients they’ve served in the past.
  4. Ask about costs. You don’t have to ask up front, but it’s important to know how the agency or freelancer prices their digital marketing services.

Correct Your Digital Marketing Mistakes

Rolling out a digital marketing campaign is no easy task. Make sure you’re approaching it wisely before spending a bunch of money.

If you’re hesitant or not sure how to get the results you want, our team would be happy to help! Reach out now for a free digital marketing consultation.

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